Diversion programs are becoming more common these days in Colorado and beyond for certain criminal offenders and certain crimes. Most people who are eligible for a diversion program are those who are facing a criminal charge for the first time. Let’s take a look at diversion programs and how you can avoid a trial, other sentencing and even jail time if you finish one of these programs.
Pretrial diversion is when a defendant is able to avoid a trial before entering a guilty or no contest plea in court. The prosecution will delay the trial so the defendant can attend a diversion program, which can include community service, counseling, probation and other programs. If the defendant is able to complete the program, he or she will not have to face a trial.
Not everyone is eligible for pretrial diversion, especially those who have already completed a diversion program or someone who has previously failed out of a diversion program. Not all criminal charges are eligible for these programs either. These programs can last anywhere from six months to two years.
Deferred adjudication is another option for someone charged with a crime. This involves the defendant entering a guilty or no contest plea, but the prosecution does not enter a guilty judgment. Instead, the defendant will be required to meet numerous conditions set forth by the court. Should the defendant meet the conditions, the charges will be dropped.
As you can see, diversion programs are an important part of defending yourself when charged with a crime. It’s a good idea to consult a criminal defense attorney when facing a criminal charge, so you can build a strong defense to the charges.